Mourners attend young entrepreneur's St Albans Abbey funeral

PUBLISHED: 11:48 19 March 2009 | UPDATED: 14:01 06 May 2010

The hearse arrives at St Albans Abbey

The hearse arrives at St Albans Abbey

THE FUNERAL took place today at St Albans Abbey of one of Britain s leading young entrepreneurs who died after falling down a mountain during a snowboarding trip to Switzerland. Rob Williams, aged 29, whose family still live in St Albans, was a pupil of B

Apprentice winner Michelle Dewberry was among the mourners

THE FUNERAL took place today at St Albans Abbey of one of Britain's leading young entrepreneurs who died after falling down a mountain during a snowboarding trip to Switzerland.

Rob Williams, aged 29, whose family still live in St Albans, was a pupil of Beaumont School. He died after he and his best friend Jason Tavaria, with whom he ran a multi-million pound music firm, became separated from their party during a blizzard on the slopes of the ski resort of Verbier.

Jason, a former pupil of Verulam School in St Albans, is still too distraught to speak about the accident in which his fall was blocked by a tree which saved him from sharing Rob's fate.

But his mother Mrs Eileen Tavaria, aged 52, a nurse who lives in Cherry Tree Avenue, London Colney, said: "This is the worst thing that has ever happened to any of us in my family. Rob felt like family to us.

"Jason and Rob were inseparable professionally and socially. We have all known Rob since he was 13 years old. He was a quiet, unassuming, solid person.

"Whenever the lads were out together I never worried about Jason if he was with Rob. Although they made a success of their business, they never changed. They kept their friends from school and kept their feet on the ground.

"Jason can't face going back to his office because they used to sit across from one another. He was more excitable but Rob always steadied him if things went wrong. He would just reassure him that they would learn from the mistake and do it better next time.

"My husband and I have faith and pray and are grateful that our son was saved but this is mixed with so much sorrow for Rob and his family. I don't know how we are going to get through the funeral tomorrow."

Rob's father Pete Williams, a plumber, described him as "twice the son you could ever hope for". He is also survived by his mother Elham, who lives in St Albans and his sister Emma, aged 28, a doctor who lives in London.

The two men were among a party of 30 young entrepreneurs, including Michelle Dewberry, the winner of BBC television show The Apprentice, when the accident happened.

The family requested no flowers but donations to be made to a fund to be set up in memory of Rob dedicated to helping young people starting out in business.


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